Epson Tour Returns to Mission Inn Resort & Club This Week Near Orlando
Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. — The Epson Tour returns for the fourth straight year as the Inova Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship is this Friday-Sunday, May 26-28th at the El Campeón Championship Course about a 35-minute drive northwest of Orlando.
“We’re a golf resort, and golf is critical to our success and always will be,” said Dominic Buompastore, Vice President of Operations at MMI Hotel Group which acquired Mission Inn last December. “These (Epson Tour players) are the future of professional golf and we’re thrilled to host this tournament.”
A field of 144 players will compete in a 54-hole, stroke-play format for $200,000 and a winner’s share of $30,000. A cut will be made to the low 60 and ties after 36 holes.
All six of the winners on Tour this season are here. Agathe Laisne, Miranda Wang, Gigi Stoll, Savannah Vilaubi, and Jenny Coleman plan to tee it up in pursuit of their second victory, while Gabriela Ruffels seeks her third win of the season.
“The track at Mission Inn Resort and Club has proven to test our players and get them ready for the next level on the LPGA Tour,” said the Epson Tour’s Chief Business and Operations Officer, Jody Brothers. “Low scores are posted each year, and we’re thrilled to continue testing our athletes on the El Campeón course in 2023.”
While admission is free, Mission Inn General Manager Cindy Staley and her team ask patrons to bring a non-perishable food item to support Lake County Cares and the food pantry for those in need.
Epson Tour standouts Kim Kaufman, Gabby Lemieux and Lindsey McCurdy are also slated to tee it up in Howey-in-the-Hills Friday. McCurdy received the 2022 Heather Wilbur Award, an end-of-season recognition voted on by peers honoring the player that best exemplifies dedication, courage, perseverance, and love of the game.
Last week’s Epson Tour winner Jenny Coleman and her twin sister Kristin planned to join McCurdy for some bass fishing on Thursday morning at Mission Inn’s Marina del Rey on Lake County’s Harris Chain before Friday’s opening round.
“Fishing is similar to golf, the patience, you gotta wait it out, see what’s working and if the baits not working, you switch it up, try something else just like a plan on the course,” said Coleman from Rolling Hills, Ca.
Other notable players here this week include Cydney Clanton and Silvia Cavalleri. Clanton was a 2012 Epson Tour graduate who has won once on the LPGA Tour. She’s made over $1.5 Million in career earnings. Cavalleri has made over $1.3M in career earnings on the LPGA Tour and like Clanton, also recorded one victory and nine top-10 finishes.
In addition to the two championship golf courses, the resort also features four restaurants, two lounges and a poolside bar. Its recreational amenities include tennis, pickleball, jogging and bicycling trails, volleyball courts, an outdoor pool, a spa, a fitness center and a marina offering pontoons, bass boats and kayaks for eco-touring.
Both courses at Mission Inn are known for their undulating greens, which are surrounded by tropical vegetation and incorporate large water hazards on many holes.
The El Campeón layout, built in 1917 by George O’Neil, is one of the oldest courses in the South with a classic design featuring unusually sharp elevation changes in the typically flat central Florida terrain. It has hosted multiple high school, college and state professional tournaments.
In contrast, Las Colinas (The Hills) was created in 1992 by former PGA Tour winner Gary Koch and it lives up to its name with wide fairways rolling over gentle rises.
Mission Inn Resort & Club has distinct Spanish Colonial architecture and offers 176 hotel guest rooms, 131 deluxe rooms, 38 club suites, four one-bedroom suites, two two-bedroom suites and one penthouse suite with three bedrooms.
Photos Courtesy: Epson Tour